On July 28, 2002, at the conclusion of the Athenaeum’s two-season Beethoven Festival with pianist Gustavo Romero, audiences at the sold-out concerts wondered what could possibly top this. That evening, at the final gala post-concert dinner, those in attendance found out: Gustavo Romero would be playing the complete solo piano works of Mozart in the summers of 2003 and 2004.
This tradition of Gustavo Romero performing the works of a single composer (and all from memory, which is even more remarkable!) at an Athenaeum summer festival began in 1999, when Romero played the solo piano repertoire of Chopin as part of the library’s 100th anniversary celebration. Originally planned as a one-time event, audiences demanded an encore... again and again.
In the course of the two-season Mozart Festival this summer and next, Romero will perform all of the composer’s piano sonatas, three of his piano concerti, and several keyboard rondos and fantasies. Once again, the concerts will take place in the acoustically superb 350-seat auditorium at The Neurosciences Institute, 10640 John Jay Hopkins Drive, on four Sunday afternoons in July, at 4 p.m.
New this year are four free pre-concert lectures at 3:15 p.m., featuring speakers exploring the connection between music and the brain. The series begins on Sunday, July 6, with Sonatas No. 5 in G Major, K. 283; No. 6 in D Major, K. 284; No. 2 in F Major, K. 280; and No. 13 in B-flat Major, K. 333.
On Sunday, July 13, Romero will perform Sonatas No. 3 in B-flat Major, K. 281; No 9 in D Major, K. 311; No. 7 in C Major, K. 309; No. 8 in a minor, K. 310; and Fantasia No. 3 in d minor, K. 397.
The program on Sunday, July 20 will be Sonatas No. 15 in C Major, K. 545; No. 18 in F Major, K. 533/494; No. 14 in c minor, K. 457; and Fantasia in c minor, K. 475.
The series concludes on Sunday, July 27, when Gustavo Romero will play and conduct the 24-piece Athenaeum Festival Chamber Ensemble in Piano Concerti Nos. 15 in B-Flat Major, K. 450; No. 20 in d minor, K. 466; and No. 22 in E-flat Major, K. 482.
Tickets to the Mozart Festival are $100 ($88 for Athenaeum members) for the series of four concerts. Individual concerts are $27 ($24 for members) for the July 6, 13 and 20 concerts; and $29 ($26 for members) for the July 27 concert with chamber orchestra. As is traditional, each concert is followed by a gala dinner, with Gustavo Romero as guest of honor. VIP tickets, including reserved seating and dinner, are $475 for the series of four, and $130 for individual evenings.
The Athenaeum summer festivals have consistently sold out, so early reservations are strongly recommended. Please call the Athenaeum at (858) 454-5872.